I realize I haven’t really been blogging that much here, and most of it is because I’ve been busy and/or having massive writer’s block or…just don’t have it in me to be passionate about some of the crazy stuff going on in our world, but something was brought to my attention the other day on Facebook and I wanted to share this story for a few reasons. One, because I really don’t talk much about my past and two because I am proud of my hometown and the drive and determination of what amounts to a little mountain town in the hills of Southern West Virginia.
In 2010, the population was 379. It’s very small but very laid out geographically because it’s country. And when I say country I mean one gas station and the nearest grocery store is almost an hours drive or more. It’s rugged but beautiful, and it was home for most of my teen life.
My life there was rough, and we were very poor. This pic is a current satellite view of the area. We literally lived out in the hills. Men worked in the coal mines and women mostly stayed home and cared for their families. I don’t think I ever realized how poor I was until I grew up. Back then we were thrilled when we got a brick of government cheese. YEP! I admit it. I loved that stuff, and going to the Hardee’s in Rainelle or the Dairy Queen was a special treat. It didn’t happen often so when we got to go we were appreciative.
The home I grew up in was five rooms, one of which was not a bathroom. We didn’t have indoor plumbing nor running water, and the outhouse was situated up on a knoll about a football field length from the house. We also didn’t have central air or heat. That came from a coal/wood stove in the living room and during the fall we cut wood and in the winter hauled in coal or wood to keep the ever-present fire going.
Life was rough and at times unpleasant, but the one thing that I could always count on was going to school to find fellowship with my friends and peers, and to learn. I realized the importance of education and knew that it was the way out of poverty. There were so many teachers at Meadow Bridge High School who pushed us to be the best we could be – no matter what odds we were facing. When someone is in need, the town pulls together to help them.
My little high school is on the chopping block and students from grades 9-12 may be getting bussed to a high school 35 miles away if the Fayette County bond passes – Meadow Bridge High School is in trouble. These aren’t normal streets and roads that are traveled. You can see from the satellite picture that these roads are remote and treacherous. The students would have to leave their home at 5AM in order to get to school, and in the winter time that trip could be even longer and more dangerous.
I don’t know what difference I can make as far as the bond, but I wanted to share this story. They are fighting for their school and if nothing else, I get an opportunity to say how proud I am of my hometown and their fighting spirit.
They do have a Gofundme page.